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The myth that Thomas Jefferson edited down the Bible in order to remove the miraculous resurfaces once in a while. He supposedly did this because he was essentially an unbeliever who thought that religion had no place in the public square.

A couple of years ago, I teamed up with a pastor from Jefferson’s home town of Charlottesville, Virginia, Dr. Mark Beliles, to write a book on the faith of our third president. The book is Doubting Thomas: The Religious Life and Legacy of Thomas Jefferson (MorganJames, 2014).

There are two main points to our book: Continue reading

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

What if the self-proclaimed “City that Works” isn’t working? That’s what Portland residents are saying.

Last week the City of Portland published its most recent survey of city residents. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed are dissatisfied with the city’s response to homelessness and almost two-thirds are dissatisfied with traffic congestion on their daily commutes.

This outrage comes after voters approved hundreds of millions of dollars for affordable housing projects and steep hikes in gas taxes to improve roads. Clearly, more money is not the answer: The more the city spends, the worse things get.

Council’s renter relocation payments, inclusionary zoning, and renter screening rules are shrinking the supply of affordable housing. While the city’s population is growing, it’s reducing its road infrastructure through road diets and replacing automobile lanes with dedicated bus and bike lanes.

Instead of punishing property owners for renting apartments, let’s loosen regulations on building and renting truly affordable housing. Instead of bringing traffic to a standstill, let’s add traffic lanes to foster a safe and speedy flow of auto and truck traffic. These aren’t radical ideas. In fact, these were Portland’s policies when it really was “The City that Worked.”

Eric Fruits, Ph.D. is Vice President of Research at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

Rachel Dawson, Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute

Portland’s temporary gas tax should stay just that: temporary.

Portland voters approved the 10 cent per gallon gas tax three years ago to fund a road repair and traffic safety program. Since its implementation, the program has failed to live up to all expectations.

Gasoline-using vehicles pay for 100% of the tax but only receive a little over half the benefits. Only 56% of tax revenues go to street maintenance projects, while 44% is spent on pedestrian and bicycle safety.

The program is also poorly managed. A 2019 audit on the tax found that program oversight has been ineffective, many projects have not been completed on time, revenue goals have not been met, and completed projects have cost $900,000 more than what was told to voters.

City staff admitted that project schedules were not realistic and took longer to begin “because the scopes of individual projects were not yet well-defined.” This lackadaisical approach to project planning would never fly in the private sector, so why is the city getting a pass?

Portland commissioner Chloe Eudaly will send the expiring gas tax back to voters in May 2020. The region needs better roads, not another poorly managed tax. For these reasons, Portlanders should vote “no” on extending the gas tax in 2020.

Rachel Dawson is a Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

Secretary of State Bev Clarno

Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno invites all Oregon 5th grade students and their teachers to participate in the campaign and election of the 2020 Oregon Kid Governor. Read the welcome letter from Secretary Clarno.

Each Oregon school or home-schooler that chooses to participate will nominate one 5th grade student. Oregon’s Kid Governors are elected by fellow 5th graders from across the state. During the week of November 4-12, all participating 5th graders will view the finalists’ campaign videos and will vote for their favorite. The winner will be announced before Thanksgiving.

During their one-year term, Oregon’s Kid Governor will work with the Secretary of State’s office on their campaign issue and will meet with Oregon leaders and legislators.

For more information or to register and access the lesson plans visit http://orkg.kidgovernor.org/

David Wojick, PhD

We must understand how Google does it, why it is wrong and how it hurts America

Several months ago, Google quietly released a 32-page white paper, “How Google Fights Disinformation.” That sound good. The problem is that Google not only controls a whopping 92.2% of all online searches. It is a decidedly left-wing outfit, which views things like skepticism of climate alarmism, and conservative views generally, as “disinformation.” The white paper explains how Google’s search and news algorithms operate, to suppress what Google considers disinformation and wants to keep out of educational and public discussions.

The algorithms clearly favor liberal content when displaying search results. Generally speaking, they rank and present search results based on the use of so-called “authoritative sources.” The problem is, these sources are mostly “mainstream” media, which are almost entirely liberal. Continue reading

Tom Harris

Dr. Jay Lehr

Carbon dioxide does not “endanger” our health – and it’s time EPA recognized that simply fact

On August 6, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (Washington) that it be granted intervenor status concerning litigation launched by environmental groups against the Trump administration’s new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule.

The case in question, American Lung Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 19-1140, concerns attempts by environmental groups to strike down the ACE rule and resurrect the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Chamber wants to be able to intervene in the case in defense of ACE.

The Chamber’s focus is on the legal aspects of ACE and CPP, and this will perhaps be valuable. However, it sidesteps the most important issue: both ACE and CPP are unnecessary since they rest on a faulty premise, namely, the misguided notion that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must be reduced to avoid a climate crisis. Continue reading

By Paul Driessen

FDA must no longer let organic food growers, manufacturers and sellers get away with lies

A couple years ago, the US Food and Drug Administration sent a “Warning Letter” to Nashoba Brook Bakery, advising its owners that listing “love” as an ingredient in their granola violated the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The product was “misbranded,” because “love” is “not a common or usual name of an ingredient,” FDA said. Such deceptive labeling practices could mislead consumers and are not allowed. Continue reading

Frank Maguire

May 20, 2010

“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical:

From all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the very first radical known to man, who rebelled against the establishment, and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

Saul Alinsky, in his foreword to Rules for Radicals: A Primer for Realistic Radicals.

Reading Humanist Manifestos One and Two should disabuse the reader of the trumped-up raison d’étre of the “separation of church and state” agglomerate, that all they truly desire is to be free from imposed religion. Their diversion is manifest rubbish. There is no law or power in the United States trying to burden atheists, humanists, or paranoiacs in some denominations, with State mandated religious association. Continue reading

Frank Maguire

I think it is fair to refer to zealous progressivists as “radicals.” This is how they, irrationally, think of themselves. They also militate against America’s Constitutional Republic, the free-market economy, and “capitalism,” using their own distorted, Marxist-Leninist definition. They make use of “democracy,” a concept absolutely rejected by America’s founders, and they never refer to America as a Republic.

What are progressivist after? In Benthamite terms, they proselytize for that which they believe will make them most happy. Each claims to be the owner of his/her life, are democratically entitled to every liberty, and enabled, carte-blanche, to indulgently pursue her/his own delirious reveries of “happiness.” Continue reading

“Heterosexuality just isn’t working.” – NBC news

“THE ASSAULT ON THE SEXES” by Jim and Andrea Fordham was published in 1977 and I’m just getting around to reading it. It was prophetic. An excerpt:

“Feminist writer Gabrielle Burton says that women’s lib is seeking the most radical revolution of all, because ‘it is challenging the nuclear family structure, monogamy, . . . our ways of thinking . . ‘ Continue reading

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